THE QUEST

by Barbanne


Chapter Two.

Cwymru!

The ancient castle fortress of the Beanna. It was known to us as it was known throughout the world as a place of mystery and magic. Located high in the misty mountains of the northland, to the west of Gaul, it was reputed to be the haunt of witches. Witches who practised the black arts and whose evil influence spread throughout the lands of the north. Witches who were protected by their own evil and by the more prosaic presence of a tribe of warrior women.

Cwymru!

If that was where the hunt for the skull of the Dagda was to lead me, then there I should have to go. It was far from Afrikaa and very far from Gamboanga. But that was where we had to go so that we could find the next part of the puzzle that would lead to the skull and so, with little other choice, Knobarius and I set out.

We took ship at the coast with Phoenician traders and, two days after boarding, found ourselves at sea, heading for the straits of Atlantis. I shared a small cabin with Knobarius. The traders' ship was small and cramped and, being fully loaded with the produce of Afrikaa, had no room for any form of luxury. The captain had looked at us and grinned a most awful and evil leer when he showed us the tiny, rat plagued space that was to be ours. Obviously he felt that my sharing with Knobarius would be no inconvenience as there was, for the captain, one use only for women and close proximity was no barrier to that. He made it obvious that if I was not there for Knobarius's use then he and his crew would soon fill the gap. Their gazes followed me every time I went on deck and I decided to keep to my quarters and afford as little temptation as possible to these sex starved seamen. Seamen, more likely pirates, or if not, then very little removed from that ignoble profession.

I spent much of my time below in contemplation. I had never much questioned my life as an assassin and the circumstances that had brought me to that. But killing Diannea had shaken me and caused me much anguish. The way she had welcomed me and had submitted herself to me, even providing her own garrotte, had profoundly affected me. I was to some extent consoled by the fact that it had been obvious to me that she had welcomed death and had yielded passively to me, achieving orgasm at the moment of her death. For those long moments that it had taken me to throttle her life out of her, we had been lovers as surely as if we had lain together in the fondest embrace. My killing her was welcomed and I had felt then, as I did now, that had the situation been reversed I would have happily submitted to her and gone down under her hands. But I was unable to rid myself of the thought that what I had done was wrong. I had begun to question what I did. Had I any right to decide who should live and who should die? By what power was I able to appoint myself a killer. Always it had been purely mercenary and the money solved everything, but my faith in myself was shaken. I was growing sick of killing.

Knobarius was aware of my troubled thoughts and I caught him on many occasions watching me when he thought I was not aware of it.

Then one day he said, "Barbarann, an assassin with a conscience is a dead woman."

I looked at him, startled out of my thoughts and then said, "I know."

Then I looked around the small cabin and screwed up my mouth, "I can hardly fit in my bunk alone, leave off with another. We will have to make do with the floor."

"Oh, shall we indeed."

"Mmmnnn, seems like it. Knobarius I want you to take me, help me forget."

"Forget what Barbarann?"

"Forget myself."

I came to him and leaning my face upward, kissed him, taking his face in my cupped hands. "Take off your clothes, my lover."

"Why?"

"Because I want to look at you."

He laughed and took off his shirt and breeks with the ease of one who has lived with another for so long that he knows everything there is to know about her. I watched and when he stood before me naked, I came to him and ran my fingers over the scars and ridges where countless wounds had healed. I kissed them slowly, one by one and then came to his face and kissed his full, soft lips. Lips a man should not have had, lips many women would have envied. Millimetres from him and very aware of his breath and mine I whispered "And now take my clothes off my darling."

He unlaced my jacket and I shrugged it off. I unclasped my skirt and he slid it down and off. He slowly pulled my underwear off and, pushing me onto the edge of the bunk, tugged my boots off. I looked at him as he did this and his excitement grew visibly. I took his hard, curving cock in my hands and kneeling bought my mouth to its tip. I teased at it with my tongue and then opened wide and took it in. I heard the sudden intake of breath and I closed my mouth over his shaft and sucked and rolled my tongue over this pillar of his manhood. I hummed softly and watched as his face lit with pleasure and increasing need. I pushed my head up, taking his cock until it was entrapped in my mouth and thrusting upward and then released it slowly, licking my tongue along the full length of the sensitive, soft underside. He moaned and I stood, rubbing my breasts, flattened and crushed against his tummy and then his chest. I licked his nipples and circled them with a lazy finger. I met his mouth with mine and opened wide, letting my tongue explore his lips. He opened and I found his tongue questing against my own. I tasted him and rising on tiptoe allowed my labial lips to slide over his, still very excited and rock hard, cock, until I was above him and then wriggled my hips as I lowered my slit, hot, engorged with blood and very wet, onto his shaft.

"Now." I hissed and he rammed his cock home inside me.

Gently he pushed me down onto the floor and I arched my back and scraped my hips on the rough planking, taking him inside me and riding his hard, marble shaft. His own gluteals pumped and I rode with him, grunting, groaning and sweating profusely until I heard the tell tale squeaking noises that I always made when I teetered on the brink. Knobarius bit hard on my lip and I squealed as his tight, almost bursting balls released, shooting hot, sticky cum inside me. I jerked and jerked, rasping my ass on the deck.

Then it was over and I lay gasping beneath him.

"Have you forgotten Barbarann?"

"Not nearly enough."

"Then we shall try again?"

"Please."

*

We disembarked in Iberia.

I used some of the money we had from our work in Gamboanga to buy two excellent horses and we set out for the north.

At the end of two days, we took lodgings in a roadside Inn and that night I lay in my bed drifting somewhere on the edge of sleep when I felt a hand clamped over my face and I was hauled upright, my night shift ripping along one seam, spilling my breast into the moonlight and I felt a sharp pointed blade scrape my skin and prick my throat.

"Die assassin bitch."

I started to mumble my absolution.

"Uuuugghh................"

The hand around my mouth disappeared and the blade skittered down my chest and across my tummy and then clattered to the floor. There was a heavy thump and then more crashing noises and then the spark of a flint and a candle blossomed into flame. I was sitting up in bed, clutching the ruin of my night shift to me and I could feel hot, sticky blood running between my breasts. I looked up and saw Knobarius, a bloody dirk in his hand. He was looking sideways and down. I followed his eyes and saw the body of one of the kitchen maids sprawled on the floor, her eyes wide and vacant and her limbs spreadeagled and her mouth gaping wide and blood drooling from one side of her bloodstained lips. Knobarius looked at me and then at the body and then back at me.

"Why didn't you kill her?"

I shook my head in bewilderment.

"I....I.....I couldn't......................"

*

We left while the night was still dark.

We rode for the north. I knew, as I had always known, that I had many enemies and that I was much hated and it was not the first attempt on my life, but who this kitchen maid was, and why she had tried to kill me, I knew not. Worse was the knowledge that I had done nothing to save myself. I thought long and hard as we galloped along about what I had been thinking of on the boat, of my weariness with killing and my unwillingness to kill, even to defend myself. In an agony of sickness of the mind I realised that I had lost my edge and worse, much worse, I was developing a death wish.

"Knobarius." I called.

"Yes Barbarann."

"Knobarius, I am afraid. Afraid that I am going to die. Worse than that. I want to die." He rode on unmoving, but I knew he was listening. "Knobarius, you must leave me. Leave me now before I kill you too. I am going to die and so will you if you stay with me."

He reined in his horse and, catching my bridle, reined me in too. He took my face in his hands. Looked into my eyes. Then he pushed me away.

"I do not see death, I see only a tired woman. Barbarann forget Diannea. You did what she wanted and in killing Dromidus you did what was right."

I wept, silently but rackingly.

He kissed my wet slobbering mouth.

"You will be alright."

*

The next day I rode ahead.

Knobarius had stopped to obtain directions in a small village we had passed through and, not wanting to be too easily remembered, I had ridden on ahead. I had told him I would wait a kilometre up the road.

As I passed through a grove of densely foliaged oaks, a man dropped from the trees and landed on me, knocking me to the ground. Others ran from the cover of the shrubbery at the side of the road. My horse ran away and the men, there were four in total, dragged me struggling into the undergrowth. I freed my sword and went to lift it but then the weariness descended and I dropped it and one of them kicked it away. They grasped my arms, two of them, one either side and the third felt inside my jacket and found my dirk and threw it to one side. The fourth man came up to me. I couldn't move, couldn't even struggle, so tightly was I held, and I saw his fist coming but could do nothing to get out of the way and it smashed into my chin and I sagged down, blackness descended and I slumped unconscious in their grasp.

I struggled back into awareness once more.

I was spread out on the ground, stripped naked, my hands and feet bound to stakes driven into the ground. They were taking turns with me, with my body. I could smell them and their spilled seed was inside and around my spread and redly painful pussy, itching, messy, sticky and revolting. As I looked up dazedly, one finished with me and another fell onto me squeezing my breasts hurtfully and rasping his whiskered face over mine and his cock filled me and he began grunting. I screamed, but it came out as a thin high sound and one of his fellows hit me with a branch from the trees, once, twice, a third time and mercifully I passed out again.

I woke in pain.

Agonising, awful pain. The men who had raped me stood a little way off and they were laughing.

"Stupid cow!"

"Silly cunt!"

I felt tears running down my face. Tears of sadness, tears of self pity, and tears of frustration, tears of rage. Bastards! Bastards! Was I going to lie here bawling like a weakling while they laughed. OK, maybe killing Diannea was wrong and maybe it wasn't. Maybe she wanted to die and maybe I helped her in that and in doing so unlocked some deep darkness within myself, but damn it! Some people needed to die, deserved to die and I was looking at four of them!

They were dressing slowly, pulling on filthy breeks and stained boots and disgusting jerkins. They were crude, ignorant, bloody peasants and by going all girlie on them and just lying down for it, not only had I let them humiliate me beyond belief, I had no doubt given them a taste for it. What other poor girls would have to suffer indignity, rapine, desecration and perhaps even death because of my weak, stupid, shitty, lie there and let it happen, stupidity.

I tugged at my bonds.

The stakes weren't well driven in and I soon had both of those holding my wrists captive, free. My attackers weren't looking at me, laughing and urinating and making rude comments and gestures amongst themselves. I kicked my feet free. God, my head hurt where I had been bashed and I felt dried blood on my face. My cunnie hurt worse than anything and I felt as if a red hot poker was inside it as I got up. But fuck it, I didn't care, I was furious. I found my sword where it had dropped and grabbed it and with the stakes flapping from me like some insane baubles, naked, filthy, covered in menís cum, I rushed at them.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

They looked up in shock and then in terror. I must have looked pretty fiercesome covered in filth and wielding my blade and suddenly awakened from my submissive stupour. They stood there incapable of movement.

Thwaaaaaaaack! I clove one bastard's brains in two.

Shwoooooooooooosh!

I decapitated another fucker.

Sssstttssseeeeeewwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cut the whole front off of the face of a third. Nose, lips, half an eyeball each and some skin and a chin. He gurgled, spraying blood from his ruined mess.

The fourth guy was on his knees saying prayers. I hacked into his neck and then chop, chop, choppity chop, I hacked bits out of his shoulders, neck and face until I got my aim right and choooooooooooooop! crack! his skull divided.

"Feeling better Barbarann."

I looked up to see Knobarius.

"Hmph." I smiled and clumped over, stark naked, covered in God knows what and dragging my stakes, sprayed with blood and brains and sword dripping gore.

"Think I better wash before lunch." I said.

Knobarius laughed.

*

I collected my dirk and my clothes and scrubbed myself in a stream before dressing again.

As I was fiercely rubbing soap through my hair I said, "Knobarius?"

"Yes Barbarann?"

Knobarius, I have decided that from today, from now, this very moment, I will no longer contract as an assassin. Any killing I do from now on will be people who deserve to die! Scumbags!"

"And how will we live?"

"We'll think of something..............and Knobarius?"

"Yes." Sort of peeved.

"At the next village I am going to find a sempstress and have a nice dress made. I tire of leather fighting clothes."

"Oh geez................"

I did, find a sempstress that is, and had a beautiful bottle green velvet gown, with lace inserts and a daring decollatage and heaps of petticoats, made. And I got matching heeled shoes. Wearing this I felt feminine and pretty and although, after all that time wearing a short, split sided, leather skirt and short jacket, I found it a bit uncomfortable, was determined to remain a woman. My leather clothes I carefully folded away and carried amongst my luggage. Riding side saddle, in my multiple petticoats there was no way I could ride astride, I followed Knobarius as we headed for the coast.

We stopped in a waterside Inn in a small port on the coast of Gaul as we awaited a ship to take us to the northland.

The first night Knobarius joined me for dinner in the taproom of the Inn and I could see he was getting a buzz from being with the little chick in the green velvet dress when he saw how many eyes followed me around the room. I have to say that the rest of the females there rated from zero to tired slattern, so I shouldn't feel too excited about myself, but the fact was that I looked good.

Later that night he was intrigued by the sheer amount of stuff he had to remove to get at my milky body. He was so slow and so clumsy that I seriously considered just ripping it off myself, but I decided I should play the lady. The waiting got us both steamy and we coupled like tigers when he finally got me nude.

*

The next day Knobarius set out early for the offices of M. Chambord, a wine merchant and ship owner who had vessels constantly making the crossing to the northland and with whom we hoped to take passage to a port close to Cwymru.

I stayed behind. In the morning I took a walk down to the main market area and looked at materials and baubles that might help me to broaden my wardrobe. I noticed that I was being stared at by quite a number of people, but thought little of it, as my new dress was still for me something of a novelty, and I felt pretty when out in public wearing it and I welcomed the glances and sly comments that followed me about. One particular group of men looked quite raffish and I flirted outrageously, bobbing my head and stealing long sideways glances from beneath lowered eyelashes. I thought little of it and enjoyed myself enormously.

In the afternoon I decided to lie down and get myself refreshed for when Knobarius would return. I stripped down to my thin cotton shift and lay on the large bed in our room. It had begun raining lightly and I watched the drops running down the grimy window panes and must have dropped off to sleep.

I was woken by rough hands clutching at me and dazedly realised I was surrounded by men. I struggled and tried to call out but was held tightly and had a hand clamped over my mouth. I kicked out and bit the hand across my mouth. I heard an oath and the fingers let go. I kicked again and was rewarded with a grunt. I struggled upright using all of my strength. My shift ripped with a harsh sound of tearing fabric. I could not get free, they were too strong. Fingers wrapped themselves in my hair and my head was pulled back. I saw a face like a pig, small red eyes and badly decayed teeth. The stench of bad breath wafted over me. I spat into the face.

"Ah bitch!"

I screamed as I was jerked upright, my hair nearly ripped out by its roots. I got a hand free and fisted it and lashed out. Another grunt. Then my head was yanked forward and my neck exposed and something smashed into the back of my skull. Total blackness descended like a falling curtain and, senseless, I crumpled to the floor like a rag doll.

*

I was on my back, lying on something cold and hard and I was cold all over and my body ached and my head was splitting. I cracked an eyelid and peered out from between gummed up lids and saw a number of women looking at me. They didn't look concerned or worried or even very interested. They just looked.

I jerked upright and my head tore open. I groaned and fell back, clutching at the agony on my shoulders. I moaned and lay there trying to recover. Slowly the pain eased and the sickness in my tummy settled and I peered up again.

"Where am I? What happened?"

"Where you don't want to be girl, and as for what happened, you have been snatched and bought here to join us as playthings for his highness."

A dark haired woman, a year or two older than me was looking at me and she leant forward and helped me to sit up. Another lightning bolt rent my head and I found myself sitting up, doubled over, head hanging. I was still wearing the tattered remnants of my shift and the girls would have been able to check out everything I had to offer while I had been lying unconscious and nearly naked on the floor.

"Where's here?"

"Chateau Chambre."

"And his highness?"

"The Duc de Sauvage. An evil and cruel bastard whose pleasures will involve you and a lot of pain my sweet. And he won't be the one in pain."

"Aaagh. Shit."

"Indeed."

A fair girl and a brunette came forward and helped the dark haired girl to get me on my feet and then they frog marched me, half carrying me, into a bathroom. All of the girls were about my age or a few years older and they were kind and helpful now that I was again conscious. The place was fairly sumptuous and richly caparisoned. There was a marble bath with water to the brim and with their help I stripped off my rags and got in.

I immersed myself in warm water and all three girls helped me as I bathed. I quite enjoyed the feeling of sitting there sort of limp and floppy while someone scrubbed my hair, another washed my back and the third washed my legs and arms and then all three joined forces to wash my body. I felt soft, female hands caressing my breasts and rubbing between my legs and I let go and drifted in a pleasantly aroused state of semi awareness. When I was clean and fresh, my aching head having become a dull, bearable throb, they lifted me out of the water and rubbed me dry using enormous thick towelling. I sagged and tottered in their arms, stupefied by the heat of the bath, the beating I had taken and the, by now, powerful arousal I was experiencing. When I was dry, they helped me dress in a light diaphonous gown of the same type as they themselves, and every other girl there, was wearing. Like them I had no underwear and like the other girls my nipples were clearly visible under the gauzy material as was the dark vee of thatch at my groin.

I settled into a routine with the other girls.

The dark haired girl was Cora and she and I became friendly. I learnt that all of those here had been kidnapped, as had I, from their homes or their work places and brought here to the Chateau Chambre. We were prisoners in the Chateau, rather like exotic songbirds in a cage, and whilst our lives were made comfortable, the price was to be called to the Duc's bed, at his whim, and to be made to satisfy his perverted carnality. All of the girls lived in fear of this and many did not return from these assignations. I cast about me for a way of escape, but the very luxury of our prison was its strength.

Two days after I had arrived, carried insensible into this very room, I was called to do the Duc's bidding. Two very large and very strong negro guards arrived in company with a skinny, sandy haired white man, whom I was told was the Duc's vizier. The other girls shrank back from this trio as they made their way purposefully across the room, headed for me. I looked at the vizier, trying to show no hint of fear.

"My darling," he lisped, "my master craves the pleasure of your company."

"Tell him to get stuffed."

He merely smiled and the two giant black men grasped me, pinning my arms to my sides. I struggled in vain as any efforts of mine were quite futile given the overwhelming power of my captors. One of them held my arms behind me and although I kicked and struggled, he had no trouble at all in keeping me still. The other grasped my jaw and inserting a stubby finger between my lips and teeth, forced my mouth open. The vizier came forward and produced a flask filled with ruby liquid from the folds of his cloak. He removed the stopper and emptied the contents down my throat and it flowed like warm honey into my tummy. I heard myself giggle and my body became warm all over and my muscles lost all strength and became like jellied flab. I felt desperately frightened and yet I giggled and grinned like an imbecile and one of the negroes tossed me onto his shoulder as though I weighed nothing. I hung there, terrified, cackling idiotically and totally limp. My arms hung helplessly, my hair swayed with the movement of my head which swung to and fro and I was unable to move so much as a finger of my own volition.

I was carried from the room and I registered the looks of pity and relief that were cast my way by the other girls. Relief that it was not to be them and pity for my plight. What plight?, I wondered in my drug induced stupour. We hastened down corridors, wide and well lit by braziers and candelabra. We stopped outside a decorated pair of doors and the vizier knocked. A muffled voice bid him enter and the door was opened and the negro carried me in and dumped me unceremoniously on a huge four poster bed. I lay there giggling and incapable of the slightest movement. I heard the two guards and the vizier leave and then a man walked into my view.

He was tall. Very tall. Maybe two metres in height and he towered over me.

He was handsome. Incredibly handsome, with jet black hair and fine, aristocratic, but feral features. He had on a gown of the deepest blue trimmed with ermine fur at collars and cuffs. He sat on the bed beside me. First he pulled my transparent gown from me, leaving me as naked as the day of my birth. Then he produced a silken cord of enormous length and bound my hands and feet to the four posts of the bed using the one length and looping it from post to post. I lay there, unable to move, giggling and hiccuping and watching him with eyes full of fear.

He stood and removed his robe. Beneath it he was naked and as beautiful as his clothed demeanour had suggested. A gorgeous sculpted body of flat planes and hard muscle. He leaned over and his face came very close.

"Now we begin, my dear Barbarann."

He knew my name. Knew who I was. I trembled or would have if my muscles had been capable.

Then the torture began.

to be continued...

*